Getting Right In There

There are different types of photographers.  We are really a microcosm of society itself.  I don’t just mean style of photography either.  Even within the field of documentary photography alone, some photographers enjoy it because they get to be out in the field and at the same time removed from the actual happenings. They stay behind the camera, withdrawn, and not seen.  Other documentary photographers want to be right in the middle of it and fully engage in the experience alongside the subjects they are photographing.  Neither is better than the other, just different.  They tell different stories because they have different perspectives.  Knowing the type of photographer you are and being honest with your subject and your clients is important.  I know the type of photographer I am.  I like to engage with my subjects, delving in with the community, building a connection, and experiencing it first hand, I know that I take more meaningful photographs when I do this.

When the Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club, asked me to photograph the Kenora Chiefs Advisory Fall Classic Tournament for branding and promotional images, I knew that the assignment would fit well with how I photograph.   As a professional, I know that a great final product is not enough, I also have to provide a great experience.  In this case, I knew the athletes and the community would see me as a representative of the Blue Jays brand.  This meant understanding what the brand is about and also being able to carry myself consistent with the organization’s values, which in turn, helps me to experience it from that perspective.  Which is the point - to make great photos that tell the story of the brand, I find it always better to get right in there and to be a part of it.   That means photographing for brands whose values and mission connects to mine, and lucky for me, this one does. 

I grew up watching the Toronto Blue Jays and playing baseball, and it was baseball that taught me many lessons in life. So,If you will allow me to be a fan-boy for a minute, as a loyal and passionate Toronto Blue Jays fan since I was a kid, it gives me tingles to see my images at the Rogers Centre and on the branding materials for their affiliate programs, it truly does.  My heart was full and I felt energized after our two day shoot. I was already excited for the post-production process. I guess that’s when I know I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.  

With dignity & respect…Lee